11:41am PT by Lacey Rose
A&E Executive Shuffle: DeBitetto to Run In-House Studio, New GMs at A&E, Lifetime, History
Hours into the new gig as A&E Networks CEO, Nancy Dubuc has laid out plans for her new management team.
In her bid to ramp up scripted and unscripted efforts for each of the company's networks and platforms, Dubuc has moved former A&E and Bio honcho Bob DeBitetto to president of brand strategy and business development at the New York-based company's newly launched in-house studio, which will be titled A+E Studios. As part of the reshuffling, Dirk Hoogstra, David McKillop and Rob Sharenow will each be elevated to executive vp and general manager at History/H2, A&E and Lifetime, respectively. Additionally, Jana Bennett will join the company as president of Bio and LMN.
The moves come at a particularly strong time for Dubuc's cable networks, which have seen their ratings soar with such high profile efforts as History's The Bible, A&E's Duck Dynasty and awards darling Hatfields & McCoys. What's more, A&E Networks, for which former CEO Abbe Raven now serves as chairman, was recently valued at about $20 billion.
"These are the people who have led their teams to some of the biggest successes on television over the last two years, including Hatfields & McCoys, The Bible, Vikings, Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, Storage Wars, Dance Moms, Client List and Steel Magnolias. I have had the honor to work with Bob, David, Rob and Dirk for a many years, and am thrilled that we are continuing this journey together," Dubuc noted in a statement announcing the news Monday.
She continued: "They have been a collective tour de force across our networks, with an extraordinary track record. I am extremely pleased that we are entrusting them to take our flagship brands into the next phase of our success. I am also thrilled that Bob will be overseeing A+E Studios -- leading the charge for original content, working with evolving models and shaping the future of our company across all platforms. And I couldn’t be more excited that Jana is joining A+E Networks. She is an experienced industry veteran who knows how to build and grow brands and create long-running franchises. I am looking forward to her success in this new role.”
In addition to the studio, a long-term goal for many at the company, DeBitetto will oversee cross network brand strategy pertaining to A+E Networks’ corporate initiatives and business development. For their part, Hoogstra, McKillop and Sharenow will be responsible for strategic planning, programming and development of their respective networks, with the marketing and brand development teams now reporting directly to them. Bennett, who previously served as president of BBC worldwide and global BBC iPlayer, will oversee the development, strategies, marketing and brand development for her two networks.